Market Forays

Market Forays, Santa Barbara: Hours, Address, Market Forays Reviews: 5/5

Market Forays
5
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Write a review
About
Market Forays offers Locavore Cooking Classes and Culinary Adventures for leisure travelers. Sustainable Team Building Events for Corporate Groups. Private Chef Services. Classes start at the Fishermen's Market in Santa Barbara Harbor where the freshest seafood is bought right off the boats, and continue to the renowned Saturday Farmers Market with its spectacular selection of produce, flowers, and regional specialties. Menus are built around the freshest seasonal ingredients, combined with a playful attitude and individualized hands-on instruction by a French trained chef. A shared meal paired with premium local wines follows the active part of the class. The dietary preferences of the guests are built into the day's lesson plan to ensure that everyone enjoys the experience. A printed recipe guide is provided. Class wraps up around 3:30 pm. Private classes available during the week, advance reservation is required.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

The area
Address
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
60 reviews
Excellent
60
Very good
0
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Karen M
Indiana, United States3 contributions
My two sisters and two daughters (in their 20s) had a wonderful day with Laurence-
beginning at the Santa Barbara Harbor, then the Farmers Market, then the entire morning preparing and cooking a wonderful meal. All the while learning and having a great time together. 5 guests is a great number for the day. We had an incredible meal in her warm and welcoming home and, although we are all pretty experienced cooks, learned so much, had much fun and what a meal! Paired with the perfect local wines. We may have stayed past our welcome but we so enjoyed the day and Laurence's company as well. We were celebrate some special birthdays in Santa Barbara that weekend and could not give Laurence a higher recommendation if you want a fabulous culinary experience tailored to your tastes and preferences.
Bon Appetit!
Written October 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you Karen, and no you did not overstay your welcome, I loved spending the day with you all!
Written May 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

marc wilson
Palm Desert, CA8 contributions
We went on a market foray with Laurence as part of a culinary adventure weekend and it was absolutely the best part of the weekend. We met her at the fish market to begin our shopping for lunch and she greeted us with fresh-baked madeleines. Laurence walked us through the market and told us about the various seafoods that are unique to the Santa Barbara area—we picked up a rockfish for lunch and tried some fresh sea urchin, which was amazing! From there we went to the farmer’s market and picked up some beautiful fresh produce. Then it was off to Laurence’s beautiful home kitchen to prepare lunch. She had a detailed menu planned for the day and all the prep tasks in an easy to-do list that we could check off as we went along. Laurence did the lion’s share of the work, but had some fun culinary tasks for my wife and I to help with, and she was very good about explaining the whole process and how all the different foods would come together. We had some wine and snacks midway through the day, then finished up the cooking chores and got all our food in the oven. A short time later, we were eating one of the best and freshest meals we’ve ever enjoyed. Laurence is a joy to spend the day with and there was never a rushed moment even though we were with her from 8:30 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon. It was the highlight of the trip and we can’t wait to visit the market and spend a day cooking with Laurence again the next time we visit Santa Barbara.
Written July 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you Marc, I look forward to seeing you and Frances again!
Written July 17, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Beth T
11 contributions
This was our second cooking experience with Chef Laurence ( Market Forays) and we look forward to a third!. It was definitely a culinary adventure and her motto is perfect-"Always Play with Your Food". She bought two beautiful vermillion rockfish at the harbor with us and we shopped for other needed fruits and vegetables at the amazing Santa Barbara Farmer's Market. Six of us chopped, shelled, mixed, and squeezed to produce a fabulous feast!
Written May 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you Beth, I look forward to playing in the kitchen with you and Bob again soon
Written May 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Beth T
11 contributions
Chef Laurence is a remarkable woman whose warm French charm made us feel like a long time friends immediately upon meeting her! We worked our butts off and the five courses were amazing. This was not just a cooking experience, we started at the pier shopping for fresh seafood and then went to the local farmers' market for the other ingredients we needed for the meal.
After shopping we met at her lovely home which which reminded us of the French countryside. Her lovely kitchen and beautiful gardens set the scene for a wonderful experience.
She gave us a prep sheet and instructions for everything we prepared. Proper knife skills, folding egg whites into cake batter and many other cooking pearls were taught. On a five star rating system, there aren't enough stars to do her justice. Cooking in Santa Barbara with Chef Laurence is a MUST DO!
Written August 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Andrew S
1 contribution
Solo
Laurence put together a great and memorable experience for my girlfriend and me. She took us through the local Santa Barbara fish and farmers market and discussed how she picks her ingredients for meal preparation. She was a phenomenal host in her beautiful home and engaged us with various prepping and cooking techniques! This was a great overall experience and time well spent! The food we made was super delicious!
Written May 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you Andrew, I had a lot of fun cooking with you and Aide!
Written May 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jackie B
Park City, UT20 contributions
Couples
This was an incredible must do experience. From meeting Lawrence at the pier, the incredible Santa Barbara farmers market ( one of the best I've ever been too) the cooking class was fun, interactive and highly informative. Lawrence was the perfect host. From the min you arrived, to the time of our departure it was a perfect experience.
Written October 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brian Benda
Brentwood, TN58 contributions
My wife and I had always heard that Santa Barbara was beautiful and that it was a great place for wine. Both are very true, but we would honestly go back if spending more time with Laurence was the only thing we did. What an absolute gem find she and her Market Forays are! If you love food and getting to know interesting people, you HAVE TO do this or you are just simply missing out on the BEST experience in Santa Barbara!

My wife and I did this back in September 2009, so it has been a few months since we returned. I love TripAdvisor, but making the time to get on here and post this review has been difficult. But, that said, we had such a great time and we take so much from this site in planning our vacations, that I could not leave Laurence and you all hanging without posting this review and a few pictures.

Here is how it worked for us: We met Laurence early in the morning down at the pier. Our group was four people (me, my wife, and two others). There were a group of fisherman down on the pier unloading and selling their catch. They all knew Laurence! So, if you arrive early and are not sure where you are supposed to meet or who you are looking for, no worries, they all know her and will help you out. While we were there, Laurence bought some catch for us to cook and eat later in the day. From there, we went to the Santa Barbara Farmers Market, and it was awesome! This is where we picked up the majority of the ingredients needed to prepare our menu later. The selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other delicacies was just incredible! Of course, once again, Laurence knows everyone there (which makes the experience so much better), maybe because she used to run the whole thing. :)

From the market, we went to a local tasting room owned and operated by another one of Laurence's friends. There, we tasted some great wines and got a nice history lesson of the Santa Barbara wine region. Our next stop was to an amazing artisan cheese shop, where Laurence picked up more ingredients and got us to taste at least a half dozen or more unique cheese creations. We were in heaven!

Our final destination was Laurence's beautiful home in Santa Barbara. It was there that we prepared, cooked, learned, ate, drank, laughed, and just had one of the best times of our lives. Laurence was very accommodating to our dietary requests. Our menu included squab, and I have to admit that the thought of eating pigeon scared me a bit. It scared me because I had never eaten it before, but it also scared because it did not sound all that appetizing. Well, it was incredible, and if all squab tasted like Laurence's I would order it any time it was available on a restaurant menu! :)

You know how sometimes when you do activities like this there can be strict time constraints, and when the time is up they are pushing you out the door? Not Laurence! After we were done eating and were just sitting around the table talking and laughing, I looked down at my watch and noticed that this thing was supposed to have been over two hours earlier! So, I told my wife that we needed to ask how we could help to clean up and get out of her hair as we had over-stayed our time. Laurence was just so nonchalant about it all. She said that she would clean up and that we were welcome to stay as long as we wanted. She is such a real, likable, and lovable person! Honestly, when you are with her you feel like you are spending time with Julia Child (who she also knew). :)

Hope this review is helpful. Long, I know, but if you are debating on whether or not to do this, just do it. If you really knew how great it was, you would regret it if you don't. I think Laurence still charges $145 per person, or at least her website says that she does as of me writing this, but she could easily charge double or more and it would still be worth every penny! Thanks, Laurence, Allyson and I hope that we will one day be able to make it back to Santa Barbara and do this all over again!
Written March 24, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ruyama
Oceanside, CA24 contributions
Had a wonderful time with Laurence. It's a great thing to experience the local food sources like the fish market, farmer's market, and cheese shop with someone so familiar with the local sources. No cooking experience is necessary but we learned some great cooking tips, then had a great meal with excellent company. Laurence had tailored our food requests to our menu. Laurence was a great hostess. Thanks Laurence!!! We will see you again.
Written April 4, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dcontino
7 contributions
Couples
My husband surprised me with this wonderful experience on our trip to Santa Barbara. Spending the day with Laurence was loads of fun and such an education in all things FOOD. We picked out a whole johnny bass at the fisherman's docks and then had a visual overload at the farmers market picking out the remaining ingredients for our feast. Preparing the meal in Laurence's private home was such a treat and we learned a lot from Chef. We plan to make a date to try another one of her foray's in the near future. If you love to cook do not miss this! Each bite was a delight.
Written September 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jennifer S
Chicago, IL1 contribution
Friends
My sisters, mother, and I spent last Saturday in Laurence's cooking class. As the other reviews have indicated, she is nothing short of amazing. She contacted us ahead of time to ask about food likes/dislikes, dietary restrictions, and if there was anything in particular we wanted to cook. We met her at the harbor in the morning, where all the fishermen knew her well, and selected some wonderful seafood. Then it was off to the farmer's market, where Laurence's food knowledge was apparent. She was able to guide us in how to select produce, cheeses, etc., and introduced us to some wonderful new tastes. We then went to a cheese shop, where we were again able to sample and learn about the different varieties. We even made our own purchases at the farmers market and cheese shop, in order to have a light supper back at home in the evening. Laurence's house was beautiful and she ensured that the menu was designed to teach us several new techniques, so we were able to learn new tricks as we cooked. The food was delicious, and Laurence made us feel very welcome in her home. My only complaint? The food was so delicious that I was stuffed at the end of the meal (not Laurence's fault -- I just couldn't stop eating the fresh-from-the-oven bread as we cooked!). I would recommend this class to cooking experts as well as novices -- if you love good food, you will love this class.
Written February 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Jennifer, Thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderfully descriptive review. It was a pleasure to cook with you and your family. I hope we will get to do it again. Warm regards, Laurence
Written February 20, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 60
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Market Forays

Market Forays is open:
  • Tue - Tue 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Thu - Thu 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Sat - Sat 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM